FINANCIAL DISTRICT / TRIBECA
95 W. Broadway, 888/895-9400, cosmohotel.com
Offers 120 smartly decorated, squeaky-clean rooms in an area of town sorely lacking in affordable, nonbusiness hotels. Service reviews are mixed, but who cares when you roll out of bed into the city's hottest hangouts? Doubles from $119.
Abingdon Guest House
13 Eighth Ave., 212/243-5384, abingdonguesthouse.com
Comprised of two homey 1850s town houses, this colorfully painted spot has either private or en suite bathrooms, and many rooms have nonworking fireplaces. Light sleepers should avoid rooms facing Eighth Ave. Check-in is at Brewbar Cafe, the coffeehouse downstairs. Doubles from $159.
Second Home on Second Avenue
221 Second Ave., 212/677-3161, secondhome.citysearch.com
Don't be put off by the shabby facade of this 1900s town house-fun, even tastefully, appointed accommodations with soundproof windows lie inside. Choose from themed rooms-tribal, modern, Caribbean, and Peruvian. (The owner's from Peru.) Second-floor yoga classes are $20. Doubles from $90.
UNION SQUARE / GRAMERCY
225 E. 17th St., 212/475-2845, hotel17ny.com
Friendly service and its location on leafy (and quiet) Stuyvesant Square Park sets this hotel apart. Perhaps you'll recognize the rooms from Woody Allen's silly film Manhattan Murder Mystery. Doubles from $79.
The Chelsea Lodge
318 W. 20th St., 800/373-1116, chelsealodge.com
This renovated European-style hotel in the heart of Chelsea has 22 rooms filled with American antiques and eclectic accents. One warning: Rooms have sinks and showers, but no WCs. Book far in advance. From $95.
The Pickwick Arms
230 E. 51st St., 800/742-5945, pickwickarms.com
This beloved Midtown standby just got a face-lift and earns consistently high marks for its professional service, rates, and location. Pack light-rooms are small and some have shared baths, but you can always get some air on the rooftop garden. Doubles from $149.
230 W. 54th St., 888/664-6835, nychotels.com
Chic, comfortable, and quite possibly the best hotel value in Gotham. Extra niceties include Belgian linens, on-demand movies, and a hopping lobby bar. Doubles from $165.
125 W. 45th St., 212/354-2323, hotelqt.com
Steps from Times Square, the latest property from hotelier wunderkind Andre Balazs. Attractively minimalist rooms with flat-screen TVs. And its lobby bar has a swimming pool-really! From $150.
UPPER EAST SIDE
500 E. 62nd St., 212/644-6000, nychotels.com
A sister property to the Ameritania, this modern hotel is decked out in neutral tones, and delivers stylish comfort. Its library, rooftop restaurant with good skyline views, and proximity to Bloomies are big pluses. Doubles from $165.
UPPER WEST SIDE
Country Inn the City
270 W. 77th St., 212/580-4183, countryinnthecity.com
No, you're not in the Cotswolds, but this English-inspired inn might transport you. Country antiques, four-poster beds, and hunting-lodge accents sing with Old World charm. Downsides are no credit cards and its three-day minimum stay. Reservations only. Doubles from $150.
UPPER WEST SIDE
Jazz on the Park
36 W. 106th St., 212/932-1600, jazzonthepark.com
A funky hostel-inn run by a hands-on international crew who put on summer BBQs. Linens, lockers, and laundry facilities provided. Dorm rooms from $25/night, private rooms from $75.
Hotel on Rivington
107 Rivington St., 212/475-2600, hotelonrivington.com
The brainchild of Surface magazine and a United Nations of industrial and interior designers, this ultrafab hotel is the first high-rise (and hotel you'd actually want to stay in) on the Lower East Side, which means 360-degree views from every glass-walled room. Guests coo about the deep egg-shaped Japanese-style soaking tubs. Doubles from $255.
Hoofing it in NYC: It takes the average person one minute to walk one "short" (north-south) block, and two minutes to walk one "long block" (east-west) in Manhattan. Do the math.